The Abbott Government is ignoring science, economic reality and global health impacts in its push to export coal through the Great Barrier Reef, as demonstrated in Question Time in the Senate today.
Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, questioned Minister Cormann, who was representing the Minister for the Environment.
“I asked about the impact of exporting Galilee Basin coal to India where pollution from coal kills between 80,000 and 115,000 people every year and all Minister Cormann could say in response was ‘coal is good’.
“I asked about the Australian Academy of Science’s strong warning today that the Abbott and Newman government’s plan for the Reef fails to protect it from port development or to address the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.
“And again all Minister Cormann could come up with was ‘coal is good’.
“Well the reality is, coal is not good. Investment banks around the world know that and are announcing they won’t finance the Abbot Point coal port expansion, with Citi the latest today.
“Alarmingly, Minister Cormann would not rule out using taxpayer money to fund the expansion of Abbot Point that private investors are fleeing from.
“The world is moving toward renewable energy, which is the real solution to energy poverty in India, where many villages are not connected to the electricity grid making local renewable energy production cheaper and cleaner.
“The Abbott Government needs to abandon its deluded ‘coal is good’ mantra, fuelled by mining company donations, and accept the science behind climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. Otherwise it risks Queensland’s economic future for this dying industry, which threatens the world’s climate and Queensland’s vital agriculture and tourism industries,” Senator Waters said.
Watch the question here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dEuyJJcv5M&feature=youtu.be